TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Do miles really matter on a Tesla being that less moving parts

Discussion in 'Model S' started by GadgetGeek407, Aug 3, 2016.

  1. GadgetGeek407

    GadgetGeek407 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    Being that I am a numbers guy, I would love to own a Tesla with like 100k plus miles since it will still have warranty on the two most pricey parts, battery and drive train. No actual engine so less chance of stuff going bad, do a lot of owners agree who may have higher mile cars?
     
  2. roblab

    roblab Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Messages:
    2,018
    Location:
    Angwin (Napa Valley) CA
    Absolutely agree. Any ICE car is vibrating and rubbing itself out. Things get loose and fall off, rings eat into piston walls, bearings wash away into numerous oil changes, hot exhaust gasses burn valve parts and exhaust system. Compare that to a few moving parts in an electric motor. As I ask, when was the last time you took your refrigerator in for service? Usually it winds up as a beer fridge in the garage 30 years later.

    The battery is guaranteed 8 years, estimates are for it lasting 15 or more. When it goes, guess what!? Replacement batteries will be cheaper, more reliable, lighter, more range.

    Tires, wheel bearings, brakes, maybe air shocks if you have them, might wear out, but these are standard replacements. A three year old electric with 50,000 - 100,000 miles on it cannot be compared to a gas car. It amazes me that they are: a couple of cars on this forum with 60,000 miles going for $50K, I would imagine that the AP and dual drive motors are mostly what are driving people to new cars, yet a lot of people don't think they need them.
     
    • Like x 3
    • Informative x 1
  3. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2015
    Messages:
    1,299
    Location:
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Motors, reduction gear, axle half-shafts, wheels, battery and HVAC coolant pumps and fans all have bearings. Body parts have been stressed by miles of flexing and pot holes too, same as with ICE vehicles.
     
    • Like x 2
    • Informative x 1
  4. deonb

    deonb Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2013
    Messages:
    3,019
    Location:
    Redmond, WA
    Yes and no. Yes, it's a simpler drive train but the stresses that people put on it with a car that can accelerate at almost 1G is a lot more than with e.g. a Toyota. Couple to the fact that Tesla is still learning about production.

    So I won't say that you should necessarily expect better quality from a 100k mile Tesla than a 100k BMW, and certainly not better than a 100k Toyota.

    It's also not a cheap car to fix - so if something breaks it will be more expensive to fix. Keep in mind, even if you can get a used vehicle on the cheap, you're buying a car that originally costed $70k+. So expect repairs to cost as much as those of other $70k+ cars.
     
    • Informative x 1
    • Like x 1
  5. GadgetGeek407

    GadgetGeek407 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    good points guys, what kind of repairs have you all ran into thus far?
     
  6. RDoc

    RDoc S85D

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2012
    Messages:
    1,569
    Location:
    Boston North Shore
    IMHO the problem is that we're dealing with a new car company. Yes, there's no engine, however, there are lots of other components that Tesla just isn't very good at building. In our case its the Pano roof cables, window rails, and suspension bushings.

    There are lots of parts in a car that aren't in the driveline.
     
  7. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2009
    Messages:
    2,399
    I have a 2012 Model S with 71k miles. It was one of the first off the line and in 2013 they did some much-needed improvements for free: upgraded the defroster vents, door handles, HVAC shroud, re-installed the pano roof with a new method, redid the door seals, added a protective titanium bar underneath. Newer cars don't need these because they upgraded the production line. I also had my charge port door fail to seal in very high temperatures.

    Since then, nothing. It generally doesn't even have any squeaks or rattles (though I did notice a little when I was in Reno lately in over 100-degree temperatures; they seem to have gone away when I returned home). I have the extended warranty (the original warranty expired almost 2 years ago), but so far it has been a waste of money.

    I have a 2009 Tesla Roadster with a reasonably similar story. The extended warranty was never available for it, which is a good thing because it would have expired by now too and it definitely would have been a waste of money.

    I also had another EV that I sold when it was 10 years old; it had never needed any repairs either.

    YMMV. As others have noted, EVs still have many parts; they are not bulletproof and will need repairs. And some brands like Tesla (and others, like BMW) can be expensive to fix. But EVs do have many fewer parts than gas cars. Miles are still an issue to consider on EVs ; though I feel they are less of an issue. Used high-mile EVs seem to me a relative bargain right now as the market so far seems to depreciate them like gas cars.
     
    • Informative x 2
  8. DFibRL8R

    DFibRL8R Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2013
    Messages:
    665
    Location:
    Leesburg Virginia
    For me at 82k miles and 3.5 yrs, major repairs:
    2 door handles (one in one out of warranty $896)
    2 12v batteries (one in one out of warranty for $195)
    1 Drive Unit (warranty)
    Leaking pano roof seal (Warranty)
    Cracked front windshield (warranty)

    Currently have creaking LF suspension and bubbly touch screen which will need repair/replacement soon (price TBD), touch screen is not cheap I here...
     
  9. doctorwho

    doctorwho Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2014
    Messages:
    774
    Location:
    Eurobin, Victoria. Australia
    Drive units seem to be the weak area although the replacement rate seems to be slowing. My March 2015 build S needed a replacement after 32,000km
     
    • Informative x 1
  10. bob_p

    bob_p Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2012
    Messages:
    939
    As long as you can get covered by the 8 year warranty on the motor and battery pack - that covers the most expensive components in the car.

    Because there are fewer moving parts, compared to a similar mileage ICE, a "high mileage" Model S should require less service.

    Overall, while I've had some service done on my late 2012 P85 (with almost 75K miles), I suspect that design and manufacturing improvements in the later cars would have avoided some of that maintenance (such as the bubbles that have popped up on the touchscreen for some of the early production cars).

    We're approaching 100K miles, and the end of our extended warranty - and debating if we want to keep the car beyond that or keep it and risk having to pay for service. Compared to our ICE with about the same mileage, the Model S has required less service - and I expect we'd see that beyond 100K miles, so we may keep the "old" Model S - but a new Model S to replace the ICE - and get in line for a Model 3 to replace the "old" Model S as our short distance commuting car.
     
  11. jaguar36

    jaguar36 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2014
    Messages:
    859
    Location:
    NJ
    I think folks tend to underestimate the current reliability of most ICE drivetrains. Most current ICEs won't have any difficulties getting above 100k or even 200k miles with no issues. Sure there will be a small percentage with problems, but Tesla drivetrains aren't exactly trouble free. ICEs may require some maintenance as well, but Tesla has those ~$600 annual services.

    In addition miles on a Tesla directly relate to charge cycles, which has a direct impact on battery capacity. when a Tesla has 100k miles on it, the battery will only be able to hold ~90-95% of its rated capacity. As this is not an issue for a ICE, I would agrue miles matter more on a Tesla.

    Lastly keep in mind that the majority of the parts on a EV are exactly the same as on an ICE. The suspension, brakes, steering, HVAC, seats, doors, windows, those are the things that frequently fail when cars get older and they will fail just as much (if not more) as on a Ford/Toyota/Lexus.
     
    • Like x 2
    • Dislike x 1
  12. DFibRL8R

    DFibRL8R Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2013
    Messages:
    665
    Location:
    Leesburg Virginia
    I'm not convinced "charge cycles" have much impact on the Tesla battery. After all, when driving the Tesla, it is frequently entering the "charge" state with regenerative breaking. My impression based on what most owners have reported and my own experience is there is an expected 8-10% degradation of battery range in the first year then a much slower degradation after that. The biggest enemies of the Tesla battery are excess heat (mitigated by active cooling) and extremes of charge state (charging to 100% or discharging to 0% and letting it sit routinely). And remember, that pack is replaceable/upgradeable. If the other "normal" car parts hold up, the performance and range of the Tesla could actually improve with a pack swap and software. Much simpler than an engine swap in an ICE. I would also expect an ICE to have some performance loss with time, loss of horsepower/efficiency though probably pretty minimal in the first 150k miles.
     
  13. Xenius

    Xenius Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2015
    Messages:
    402
    Location:
    Havertown, PA
    archer_phrasing.jpg
     
    • Funny x 9
  14. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2015
    Messages:
    1,857
    Location:
    florida.
    the tesla is just a car, albeit with a different method of propulsion.
    the tesla, like all cars has many components that are subject to wear and tear issues like any other car.
     
    • Helpful x 1
    • Like x 1
    • Dislike x 1
  15. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2013
    Messages:
    3,927
    Location:
    NoVA
    Miles certainly do matter, for the reasons mentioned above (bearings, etc...), but I think for EV's total number of "cycles" will be a factor. All electronics degrade with thermal cycling over time. And we know that batteries have a cycle-life.

    As to if it's as severe for electronic devices as mileage is to mechanical devices remains to be seen a bit, but I suspect on the whole EV's will be more reliable.

    I too, have an early 2013 car, and I've had the drive-train replacements, which seem to be much less of an issue. A bunch of small items (power steering rack attachment, brake caliper/splash guards, headliner fitment, issues, etc...) that are probably much more indicative of growing pains for a new model, than long-term reliability.

    The one significant out-of-warranty failure I've had is a charger failure. That's a $2500 replacement. And from what I've been told by my service advisor (and experiences here seem to agree), it's a very uncommon failure. So I'm not entirely ready to chalk that up to age/cycles.. but electronics do fail. Especially power electronics. It will be interesting to see how inverters, chargers, HVJBs, etc... fair over time...
     
  16. brantse

    brantse Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2015
    Messages:
    398
    Location:
    Somerset, PA
    Personally, I love my MS and hope to be able to continue to drive it for a long time. I have always driven cars for a long time, and being a mechanical engineer, do all maintenance myself and consider that I take pretty good care of my vehicles. That said, this is the first time that I've actually put much thought into avoiding adding miles to the car, as I want to maximize my time with a warranty. Example, I now consider taking a rental for work rather than putting miles on the car, which I loathed doing previously. Let's just say that the car hasn't been completely trouble free and I probably wouldn't continue driving it if I had had to pay for the repairs it's racked up in a year.
     
  17. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2013
    Messages:
    10,316
    Location:
    San Mateo, CA
    The Plug In America battery survey shows that long term Tesla battery degradation is minimal and is correlated to overall mileage more than charge cycles.

    90-95% of a Tesla battery still provides very usable range and utility. A battery with 100K miles on it is not worn out or useless. In fact it still has many many years of useful life in it

    It is clear to me that mileage on a Tesla matters much less than mileage on an ICE. That said, the public perception of an EV has not caught up to the reality: the vast majority of people still assign value to a used car based on mileage. That perception will not change for decades. People resist changing their world view based on new realities. Change is hard.
     
    • Informative x 1
  18. green1

    green1 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2014
    Messages:
    4,105
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    People keep asking "do miles matter" but the simple truth is, if you are given the option between two identical Model S cars, priced the same, one with half the miles of the other, you'll pick the one with less miles every single time.

    Sure, the motor should last longer, but cars are much more than a motor. EVERYTHING will have more wear on the car with more mileage, from welds and rivets to upholstry, and bearings. Even the paint on the car with more mileage will probably be in worse shape.

    And that doesn't even count vehicle age, and Tesla makes hundreds of tiny improvements every single week, not to mention the big changes over the years.

    Many people speculate that a Model S shouldn't depreciate, however the truth of the matter is that the Model S depreciates exactly the same as any other large luxury car. This was predicted by Elon when he announced the guaranteed buy-back program, and so far it's proven to be pretty accurate.
     
  19. jaguar36

    jaguar36 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2014
    Messages:
    859
    Location:
    NJ
    The survey shows the degradation correlates with miles. It does not specify anything about charge cycles. It does not distinguish between time or miles either. Time and miles tend to go together however, and degradation is likely effected by both (in addition to other factors such as max/min SoC)
     
  20. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Supreme Premier

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    2,651
    Location:
    Slovenia, Europe
    Something like this?
    Code:
    INIT CYCLE_LIFE = 1000
    LOOP
    Dec(CYCLE_LIFE)
       IF CYCLE_LIFE = 0 THEN DYE
    END LOOP
    Truth is, cycle life is a pure myth. Cycles don't do any damage to the battery.

    Damage accumulates over seconds/minutes/hours/days the chemistry spends at high and low SOC at high temperature. Higher or lower the SOC, higher the temperature, longer the time, more damage is accumulated.

    If one gets to cycle the battery between say 40% and 60% SOC at low enough discharge rate so that temperature doesn't rise above ambient, that battery will go for tens of thousands of 100% SOC cycles. All damage will come from aging.
     
    • Like x 1
    • Dislike x 1

Share This Page